Bike Vigil in Tucson
Bike vigil in Tuscon; photo from Tuscon Velo
Tuscon Velo has photos and video from a bike vigil, attended by at least 150 cyclists, to honor the victims of Saturday’s shooting.
Thanks to CommuteByBike for brining this to our attention.
UPDATE: The Associated Press (via the Washington Post) features the fact the Giffords is a cyclist:
It didn’t matter if it was pitch black or cold – or if she were juggling calls she had missed while on the plane from Washington, D.C., or preparing to meet with constituents the next day. She would do all that, and then go for that bike ride.
“She has a passion for her bicycle, I’ll tell you that,” said Raoul Erickson, a longtime friend of the Democratic three-term congresswoman who had gone riding with her that night.
The next day, on Jan. 8, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was critically injured in a massacre that killed six people and wounded 12 others outside a Safeway in Tucson. The 22-year-old gunman had been bent on targeting her since meeting her at similar event in 2007, authorities said.
The shooting rocked Tucson and the nation, resulting in an outpouring of support for Giffords and the other victims that has taken the form of thousands of candles, cards, balloons and bouquets across the southern Arizona desert city. But for one segment of the community, pedaling their bicycles in honor of the victims has been the start of their healing process.
Word that Giffords loved to ride her custom-made bike up and down Tucson’s bike boulevards and trails spread like wildfire across cycling blogs and through Facebook and Twitter posts.
While many people had never met Giffords, much less went on a ride with her, she’s considered part of a loose-knit group that ranges from die-hard racers clad in spandex to weekend warriors and commuters who push the pedals to get to work.
For the past two Tuesdays, cyclists have shown up en masse outside the hospital where she remained in serious condition, along with hundreds of other supporters.
The 2-mile vigil ride from the University of Arizona campus takes less than 15 minutes, but organizer Damion Alexander said there’s a lot to think about in that short time.
“The word ‘community’ is what it’s all about. We are a bike community,” Alexander said. “This gives us an opportunity to share and do something positive. What happened was awful. It’s so sad. And whenever something bad happens, you have an opportunity to be brought down by it or to look at how you can lift up the spirits and make it a better place to live.”
Giffords bikes Arizona; (AP Photo/Courtesy of Raoul Erickson)